Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Whole Lot of More

This weekend was so much fun. For ten years I've attended the (HOD) Heart of Dixie's readers luncheon. In fact, Saturday they celebrated their fifteen year of hosting romance authors and their fans. This year's keynote speaker was Lori Leigh. But for the first time, I decided to stay the night before in the hotel next to the Von Braun Center and I'm so glad I did. It was so much fun.

I roomed with Lexi George (check out her funny "southern-fried paranormal romance") who is as funny as her books. Who doesn't like to laugh -- a lot?  And Christine Glover (who will be published with Mills & Boon before long) brought a bottle of champagne. We celebrated a lot of things, but one was my first year anniversary of gettting THE CALL from Avon. One year ago from May 4. Hard to believe it had gone by so fast.

Friday night, we met with several ladies and had dinner on a patio in a beautiful shopping center. There are several restaurants in the center, and all evening, teenagers walked by in their prom regalia. They were beautiful. So many bright colors and lots of bling. I had a blast talking with Janette Kenny whose agent is with the same agency as mine.

Then at the luncheon the next day, HOD set up a time for authors to bring their promo stuff and hand them out to the attendees.  It was a little chaotic and I felt funny standing there with my bookmarks and collector cards while readers raced toward Lori Leigh and Linda Howard. But a few took pity on me and stopped to ask what I wrote. I enjoyed it so much. I never feel comfortable talking about myself (I hated job interviews for that reason), but I could talk all day about my characters and their motivations. That was fun and their eyes didn't glaze over.

Afterwards, the luncheon began and Lori gave her speech and then the part a lot of the attendees truly love started. Each author brings a basket (or chest, box, bag, or in my case, vase-sized brandy glass) filled with goodies and their book(s) and they're given away as door prizes. A nice lady by the name of Bonnie, won mine.  The "brandy glass" was filled with chocolate Kisses, my book CIRCLE OF DESIRE, cell phone clutch with $10 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble or Amazon, skull & cross bones scarf, heart shaped picture frame, rhinestone necklace and earrings, a small scented candle, and a string of flashing heart shaped lights (plays music too).

I met so many strangers who were kind and so excited about the luncheon. Either as authors or readers. Each time I attend a function like this, I appreciate being published more and more. And that's a whole like of MORE.  LOL!